Dr. Frances Gipson Selected as Chief Academic Officer

LOS ANGELES – Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines today selected Local District East Superintendent Dr. Frances Gipson as chief academic officer. Dr. Gipson will oversee instructional strategies for over 600,000 K-12 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
This selection came shortly after Dr. Ruth Perez, the deputy superintendent of instruction, said she is leaving L.A. Unified to become superintendent of the Paramount Unified School District in early January, pending approval from that school board.

Superintendent Cortines selected Dr. Gipson after having tapped her only months earlier to head Local District East, where she was supported by a staff she dubbed “Team Kid.” She will be replaced by her Administrator of Operations Jose Huerta, who will become the interim Local District East Superintendent. Mr. Huerta, a veteran District administrator and former Garfield Senior High principal, looks forward to embracing the responsibilities of Local District East.

Dr. Gipson previously served as principal of the award-winning El Sereno Middle School and Magnet Center, where she launched dual-language learning in Spanish and Mandarin. It also became the first-ever California Gold Ribbon school in East Los Angeles.

“I have been more than pleased with the work Dr. Gipson has done for the children in Local District East these past months,” Superintendent Cortines said. “Now, I have asked her to step into a role where her expertise and leadership will shape the futures of all students in LAUSD.”

In her new role, Dr. Gipson will be responsible for implementing the District’s instructional plan. She will oversee a variety of academic programs, including core elementary and secondary instruction; gifted and talented education; advanced placement courses; and multilingual and multicultural education, among others.

"It is a true honor to serve colleagues, community, and student scholars of the united LAUSD family,” Dr. Gipson said. “Each and every day we exercise our beliefs in how we listen, learn and lead to increase student achievement. As a learning leader, I embrace the opportunity to support ‘Team Kid’ as we model and propel excellence for all.”

Dr. Gipson started her 20-year career in public education teaching primary grades at 107th Street Elementary School. She later held several administrative positions, including head of instruction for the former Local District 5.

In addition, she teaches at the UCLA Teacher Education Program; the Principals Leadership Institute; and at Cal State – L.A.

At the start of the 2015-16 school year, she was named the new chairperson of the Instructional Technology Initiative taskforce after former chairperson Dr. Judy Burton stepped down for personal reasons. Dr. Gipson expects to continue leading the bi-weekly meetings as taskforce members prepare to submit recommendations for a three-year strategic plan, which guides instructional technology integration throughout the District.


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